Changlang District is situated on the south-eastern corner of the north-eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, near the Myanmar border. Known for its rich biodiversity and scenic beauty, Changlang is a popular tourist destination in North-East India.
As per folklore, the name Changlang was derived from a hilltop called Changlangkan, where the natives discovered an herb that can be used for poisoning fish in the river. Changlang District is bounded by Lohit District and Tinsukia District of Assam in the north, by Tirap District in the west and by Myanmar in its south-east. Patkai Bum Hills, which are the extensions of the Greater Himalayas reaching up to Nagaland, is the natural barrier between Changlang and Myanmar. Changlang town is the administrative headquarters of Changlang District.
The population of Changlang District consists of Tutsa, Tangsa, Nocte, Singpho and the Lisu tribes along with Deoris, Tibetans and Chakma and Hajong refugees. Tangsas, Singphos and Tutsas are the native tribes of Changlang District. Tangsas reside in the south-eastern Patkai Bum Hills of the Indo-Myanmar Border, Singphos on the plains towards the north of Changlang and Tutsas occupy the western part of Changlang.
Tangsa, Assamese, Hindi and English are the most common languages used in Changlang though there are many tribal languages in use that belong to Tibeto-Burman language family. Moh-Mol, Pongtu Kuh and Shapawng Yang Manu Poi are the main festivals celebrated by the Tangsa, Tutsa and Singpho tribes respectively.
Changlang District, primarily an agrarian region, consists mostly of hilly areas. Changlang, which has a gentle slope towards its north-west, exhibits varying altitudes that range from 200 meters to 4500 meters. Rivers like Noa-Dehing, Namchik, Tirap, Namphuk, Dapha, Namphai, Tissu, Tarit, Tara, Tikeng and Tiging are the water resources of the region, most of which eventually merge with River Buri-Dihing. The plains of Changlang often get flooded during the monsoon months as they are situated in the valley of Dihin.
Changlang is rich in various species of flora and fauna. The region comprises of the Brahmaputra Valley semi-evergreen forests towards Assam and the eastern Himalayan broadleaf forests towards its south-east. The hilly areas and mountain slopes of Changlang are covered by alpine, temperate and subtropical forests. The upper reaches of Changlang are covered in thick foliage of rhododendron, oak, pine, maple, fir, juniper, sal and teak.
The highlight of Changlang tourism is the Namdapha National Park. Namdapha National Park consists of about 96 species of mammals, 453 avian species and 50 reptilian species along with numerous species of other life forms.
Changlang town can be reached from Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, Margherita and Miao by road. The nearest airport to Changlang town is situated at Dibrugarh and the nearest railhead is at Tinsukia. November to February is the best time to visit Changlang.